Maroc Telecom’s 2009 financial results: Revenue up by 2.8% and net earnings down by 1%

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Maroc Telecom Group’s 2009 consolidated revenues amounted to MAD30,339 million, up 2.8% versus 2008 (up 1.3% on a comparable basis2), underpinned, on the one hand, by results in Morocco and the solid performances of its subsidiaries, notwithstanding the impacts of a challenging economic and regulatory climate, and, on the other hand, by the promotional efforts, capital expenditure and innovations that Maroc Telecom continues to pursue.

Maroc Telecom had 21.7 million customers at end-2009, up 12.6% year on year, reflecting the inclusion of Sotelma, the resurgence in the growth of the Mobile activity in Morocco and continued expansion of the subsidiaries’ customer bases.

The Group’s 2009 consolidated earnings from operations amounted to MAD14,008 million, up 0.9% versus 2008 (up 0.3% on a comparable basis2). This increase was achieved in spite of the impact of maintaining promotional initiatives aimed at stimulating markets and the increased amortization expenses arising from the ongoing capital expenditure program. Consolidated operating margin came to 46.2%. Net earnings – Group share amounted to MAD9,425 million, down 1.0% versus 2008.

Gross revenues generated by Mobile operations in Morocco increased by 1.8% to MAD18,866 million, thanks to a continued increase in outgoing revenues of 5.4% and despite reductions of 4.1% in incoming revenues, 5.4% in roaming-in revenues and 15.8% in handset sales.

Blended ARPU7 for the year came to MAD97.7, reflecting a moderate decline of 1.4% versus 2008, thanks to an increase in outgoing ARPU (up 0.9%) following the rise of the outgoing usage by 3.2% to 52 min/customer/month and despite lower incoming revenues.

Fixed-Line and Internet activities posted 2009 gross revenues of MAD9,312 million, down 3.8%, primarily due to a 6.1% fall in Voice revenues and a 30.8% decline in interconnection revenues. Data revenues expanded by 10.6% to MAD2,166 million.

Maroc Telecom had 1.234 million fixed lines in service at year-end, down 5% year on year, due mainly to shrinkage in the Residential customer base (down 8.8%) resulting from Mobile competition. The average amount billed fell by 2.4% versus 2008 to MAD390. At end-2009, Maroc Telecom had over 469,000 ADSL subscribers, down 1.7% year on year. In addition, it had close to 174,000 3G+ Mobile Broadband customers at year-end versus less than 30,000 customers at end-2008. This brought the number of Internet customers to 645,000, up 26% versus 2008.

* Mauritania

In 2009, the Group’s operations in Mauritania generated net revenues of MAD1,105 million, up 1.7% (up 4.8% at constant exchange rates). Mauritel posted MAD355 million in earnings from operations, down 1.6% at constant exchange rates versus 2008. This decrease was attributable to a deterioration in Mobile segment profitability in an intensely competitive market context. Mauritel’s operating margin stood at 32.1%, down 2.1 points versus 2008, reflecting the impact of the promotional efforts deployed to preserve the operator’s market leadership. Mauritel’s Mobile customer base stood at 1.335 million customers at end-2009, up 17% versus 2008. The number of fixed lines in service fell by 16% to 41,000 lines while the number of Internet access points fell to 6,000 (down 33%), following a clean-up of the subscriber database which gave rise to terminations.

* Burkina Faso

In 2009, the Group’s operations in Burkina Faso generated net revenues of MAD1,693 million, up 15.3% (up 16.3% at constant exchange rates), thanks to its solid performances in the Mobile. Fixed-Line and Internet segments. Onatel posted MAD322 million in earnings from operations, up 54.8% at constant exchange rates versus 2008, mainly thanks to an improvement in Mobile segment profitability. Although Onatel once again posted losses from operations for 2009 in the fixed line segment, its overall EBITDA margin increased by 3.5 points to 44.8%. Onatel’s Mobile customer base stood at 1.569 million customers at end-2009, up 61% versus

2008. The number of fixed lines in service rose by 5% to 152,000 lines while the number of Internet subscribers increased by 35% to around 23,000 customers.

* Gabon

In 2009, the Group’s operations in Gabon generated net revenues of MAD1,220 million, up 2.8% (up 3.7% at constant exchange rates). Gabon Télécom posted MAD214 million in earnings from operations, versus a negative MAD11 million in 2008, boosted by a significant increase in fixed line segment profitability following the restructuring plan introduced in late 2008. The Mobile customer base stood at 513,000 customers at end-2009, up 15% versus 2008. The number of fixed lines in service rose by 9% to 36,000 lines while the number of Internet subscribers increased by 43% to around 20,000.

* Mali

The Group’s operations in Mali generated net revenues of MAD554 million in the final five months of 2009, up 3.7% on a comparable basis. Earnings from operations posted by Sotelma amounted to MAD63 million for the same period, versus MAD21 million in 2008. At end-2009, Sotelma had around 818,000 Mobile customers (up 39% versus end-2008), 65,000 fixed lines in service and 7,000 Internet customers.